Ravens 3

(7-4, 3-3 away)

Patriots 24

(10-1, 6-0 home)

4:15 PM ET, November 28, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
BAL 0 3 0 03
NE 0 3 6 1524

Pats shut down Ravens, score on fumble recovery

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- Jarvis Green capped the Patriots' domination when he recovered the slippery ball in the end zone against a team known for its own defensive touchdowns.

That was the last scoring play in New England's 24-3 win Sunday, a rare game in which the Baltimore Ravens had the second-best defense on the field.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Ravens-Pats: How are the Pats getting it done on defense despite a depleted secondary?

This was a game of pride for the Patriots defense because they knew one of the best defenses in football was coming into town. The Ravens came into this game with all the defensive stars and the press behind them and had to watch the Patriots defense dominate their offense. The Patriots relied on their linebackers and that group responded. LB Mike Vrabel had a great game and made some huge tackles to help stifle the Ravens running game. The Pats are doing a good job keeping teams off balance with a number of different schemes to confuse the quarterback. But as well as the Pats coaching staff is doing, it all comes down to the strong play of the players. This secondary is depleted, but the backup players are playing as though they are starters and that's why this team is still winning.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

"I think our defense showed that we can hang with the best of them," Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said.

New England (10-1) showed it could march through a rain-drenched field and the NFL's stingiest defense. The Patriots gained 314 yards, and Corey Dillon's 123 yards rushing were just one less than Baltimore's total output.

"We had no rhythm," Ravens coach Brian Billick said, "just couldn't get anything going."

Dillon ran for more than 100 yards for the fifth time in six games, boosting his season total to 1,121. Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals, stretching his successful streak to 21 kicks.

"That was as bad of a field as I've ever played on," said Vinatieri, who has kicked big field goals with snow covering the ground. "This is a whole different set of tough situations. It's even more difficult for the guys handling the ball."

In their previous six games, the Ravens (7-4) scored four touchdowns on defense and gave up only five. On Sunday, the Patriots offense didn't turn the ball over, despite the rain, while the Ravens lost it twice.

The most important turnover came just 45 seconds after Dillon scored on a 1-yard run and 2-point conversion for a 17-3 lead on the Patriots' first possession of the fourth quarter. Baltimore got the ball back, and Kyle Boller was sacked on the next two plays -- by Ted Johnson and Tedy Bruschi.

Bruschi's hit knocked the soggy ball loose at the Baltimore 8-yard line. Chester Taylor, playing because running back Jamal Lewis missed the game with an ankle injury, dove after it but managed only to nudge it toward the end zone.

"The ball just spurted right out," Taylor said.

Green, a backup defensive end, didn't make that same mistake.

"I saw it slip out of his hands," Green said. "Then I went and attacked it and it wasn't going to slip out of my hands."

New England won its fourth straight game despite having its top three cornerbacks sidelined -- Ty Law, Tyrone Poole and Asante Samuel -- while Baltimore's winning streak ended at three.

All the Ravens could manage was a 22-yard field goal by Matt Stover 2 seconds before halftime.

The Patriots set an NFL record by scoring first in their 16th straight regular-season game, breaking a tie for the mark set by Miami in 1978. But the Ravens managed to stop another streak in the first quarter -- 16 consecutive quarters in which the Patriots scored.

"Once they got control of the game, that's an awful hard team to beat," Billick said.

Baltimore had given up a league-low 14 points a game in its first 10 games and allowed just one offensive touchdown Sunday on Dillon's run with 3 seconds gone in the fourth quarter.

"That's a tough defense. They're known for intimidating people," Dillon said. "I'd rather do the hitting than be hit."

Then Boller got a taste of what his defense usually inflicts on opposing quarterbacks when New England, which had allowed the sixth fewest points in the league, went after him and sacked him twice, the last resulting in Green's touchdown.

"They're a great team," said Boller, who was 15-for-35 for 93 yards and was sacked four times. "They force you to try and make throws downfield. ... It wasn't raining so hard that I couldn't throw it."

Vinatieri gave the Patriots a 9-3 lead with field goals of 28, 40 and 48 yards. His only miss of the season came on Oct. 10, a 47-yarder against Miami.

The Patriots took a 3-0 lead on the second play of the second quarter on the 28-yarder. The Ravens tied it on the next to last play of the half on Stover's field goal.

One week earlier, the Ravens scored all their points in the second half in a 30-10 win over Dallas. But New England's defense is far superior and forced Baltimore to punt on its first two series of the second half while Vinatieri kicked two field goals on the Patriots' opening possessions.

Game notes

Tom Brady's streak of 16 games with a touchdown pass, including playoffs, was snapped. ... Boller's streak of 123 passes without an interception ended with Randall Gay's pickoff midway through the second quarter. ... The 24 points were the most against Baltimore in seven games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 7 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 7 yds, 0:00
balFG0:05Matt Stover 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 41 yds, 0:31
neFG6:04Adam Vinatieri 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 22 yds, 3:07
neFG11:35Adam Vinatieri 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 38 yds, 3:17
neTD15:00Corey Dillon, 1 yd run(Corey Dillon run for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 9 plays, 62 yds, 4:49
neFG15:00Adam Vinatieri 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 59 yds, 6:28